Guest Artist – Diane Coe

Guest Artist – Diane Coe

This is a guest post from Diane Coe, one of our readers, who recently submitted a photo for our 3rd Quarter Challenge. Thanks for sharing Diane!

My name is Diane Coe and I live in Featherston, New Zealand. I started being creative at a young age. Drawing, painting, and learning to knit from my Granny. I used to make tiny felt mice and exhibit them at a local annual art show as a young teen. Later on in life, in the 80s, I discovered Leadlight and produced for markets and made windows for houses. Then I progressed to Mosaics which I enjoyed for a while. I discovered a local felting group in 2014, and have been hooked ever since. Mainly I use wet felting with some needlefelt.
Sign of The Last Call of the Ruru
I was inspired to create Te Karanga Whakamutunga Ote Ruru (The Last Call of the Ruru (Morepork) from Maori Folklore, in which the Ruru is regarded as a guardian. With much of our planet being endangered, I wanted to portray the Ruru guarding the NZ Bush as a last call, as time is running out unless there is a change and more protection.

I wet felted the background and then needle felted, adding wool roving and balls of wool recycling from Op shops. The Kiwi is a scrap of possum fur. I spread out all my colours and fibres and picked up pieces to needlefelt as I went along, choosing what would work best for what I wanted to portray in each piece of the picture.

Close up of the felted picture of the Ruru

This close up photo shows more details of the intricate work.

There is hidden in the picture a Powelliphanta (native NZ giant snail). The piece took months to complete and is framed in native Totora farm posts.

Wool painting by Diane Coe, The Last Call of the Ruru

This is the photo that I submitted of the piece for the Third Quarter Challenge. You can click on the photo to enlarge it.

Here I am in my studio, creating another landscape.

Friend of Diane Coe holding portrait of dog created by Diane Coe with dog sitting opposite.

I have created other pictures like the portrait of my friends dog.

Diane Coe with felted attire with hat.

I have also entered recently a national competition in NZ called WoolOn, in which you can enter anything wool. It will be on the Catwalk and judged later in August 2003. Felting is a beautiful artform and a wonderful natural product. There is always so much to learn and create with.


Thanks so much Diane for telling us about your felting journey. 

If you would like to submit a photo for one of our challenges, you can do so here. If you are interested in telling us more about yourself and your fiber art, we would love for you to write a guest post. Just fill out the Contact Us form to let us know of your interest. 

16 thoughts on “Guest Artist – Diane Coe

  1. Diane, thanks for writing a guest post. Your piece is wonderful, I love all the details and the feeling of being led into the wilds of New Zealand.

  2. Wonderful work, Diane! It’s interesting to hear how you were inspired by New Zealand folklore, and how timely the subject matter is. Keep sharing your work with us!

  3. You have such a talent for making beautiful pictures with wool! The dog portrait is wonderful.

    Your ‘Te Karanga Whakamutunga Ote Ruru’ is so fascinating – there is so much detail – it’s truly gorgeous. 🙂

    1. Thankyou. It was my first animal portrait. I loved making the Ruru picture but took a long time.

  4. Wonderful, lovely to read about your work, and all about your NZ influences. Beautiful.

  5. Diane, your story is fascinating and the resulting picture really draws one into the depths. Sadly try as I have I can’t find the 🐌

    Your dog picture looks to really capture your friend’s dog.

  6. Diane, I have to say that your post, your wonderful picture and the story behind it reduced me to tears. There is so much that is beautiful in our world that we are going to loose, even if we manage to find a way to stop using fossil fuels, it’s going to be too late for so much.
    For so long so many people, unable to look beyond the bottom line of their bank balance, and their own little lives, have been denying that global warming is happening. Even now with so much evidence of what is happening there are still people who will not accept it.
    Do keep showing us your lovely work.
    Your friend’s dog is gorgeous, so is his portrait. Good Luck with your entry to WoolOn and let us know how you get on.

    1. I so agree with you. The world is driven by greed at the sacrifice of our planet. Thank you so much for your kind words. My entry goes on the catwalk 2nd Friday of August. Will let you know

  7. A great piece and a great story. Thank you for sharing it. It is interesting that you work on you piece in an upright position, I always work flat. How are you holding it up and what is behind it?

    1. I pinned it to a big piece of foam on an easel. It was easier to get the depth than working on it flat. Then I could stand back and check on it occasionally to see what it needed. When finished I stretched around a piece of wood and framed it.

  8. Fantastic creations, Diane! My favourite was the dog portrait, but that’s because there’s nothing better than a pet and their human grinning together 🙂

    A close second is the top hat! I’d absolutely wear something like that, it’s so steampunk and lovely.

    And, I’m not surprised your bigger piece took you a long time to complete, there’s so much to look at. I really like how you kept a lot of the pieces 3D for extra dimension. I feel I could look at it for ages and still find new things each time…

    1. My friend adores her dog. I loved surprising her with it. The hat has a Morepork (Ruru) peering out of it as its a tree and a fantail nesting in the brim. I had the big picture hanging in the local Hotel for a week. People would tell me they felt drawn into it. I loved knowing people felt that. I added lots of native trees into the forest. I won’t ever sell it too much work and me gone into it.

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: